Is it possible to be a “Net Zero Academic”?
We are facing a climate and ecological emergency that requires radical transformation of how we go about our daily lives. I live and work in Scotland, a nation that has committed to become net-zero by 2045.
Academia is an inherently international profession and yet it is difficult to justify the amount of travel undertaken in the name of studying climate change. I am committed to working towards a net-zero academic career and, however difficult, this has to involve flying less. I recognise the huge importance in meeting face-to-face to develop equitable collaborations and the knowledge that can only come from observing a natural ecosystem in person. However I believe a lot of academic travel is redundant and can be replaced with carbon-light alternatives with a little careful thought. My guiding principle at the moment is to travel less and better, using overland travel wherever possible and making the most of social media and communications technologies to collaborate meaningfully with colleagues abroad.
If you are interested in reading more about this please take a look at the extensive documentation provided by the FlyingLess Initiative.